The chiefs of the Indian Air Force and Navy have expressed their confidence in the preparedness and capabilities of their forces to take on China at any time, amid the ongoing standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari said that the IAF has deployed an adequate number of fighters, surface-to-air missiles, guided weapon systems, radars and other assets in forward areas, with the requisite logistics and infrastructure to have a credible deterrence against China.
“We are always on 24×7 readiness to take on any challenge. We keep regular surveillance over what is happening across our northern borders,” he said.
Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said that the Navy was keeping a close watch on Chinese warships and other vessels in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). “We deploy our assets on mission-based deployments in the IOR. They are always ready to meet the entire spectrum of operations, from combat to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” he said.
The IAF chief also said that the force took all measures after the Galwan Valley clash in June 2020, which included re-deploying fighters from the hinterland to forward areas, to ensure its presence was felt and was a deterrence to the adversary.
The statements of the two chiefs come at a time when India and China are engaged in a tense standoff along the LAC for over a year, with several rounds of diplomatic and military talks failing to resolve the issue.
The two sides have disengaged from some friction points, but remain locked in a stalemate over others. The situation has also led to increased military activity and alertness along the border, as well as in the IOR.